1. What is your role at Baptist Care SA?
As part of the Disability Pathways team at Baptist Care SA, I support NDIS participants to access our Supported Independent Living (SIL) services. I also coordinate the transitioning of our clients, whether it’s for the intake or exiting of our NDIS services.
Working with our Client Engagement and Service Delivery teams, I draft Risk Assessments for both client and property, gauging both suitability and safety for the client and their support workers.
I also coordinate the renewal process for our current SIL clients, tracking their progress and advocating for extra supports if required.
2. What do you enjoy most about your work? Why do you work in a disability team?
I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, be it clients, work colleagues or stakeholders. I enjoy learning from other people. Our team has such a wide range of skills and experience. I’m always learning new things from them.
Due to the nature of our work, things can be quite stressful and overwhelming, so it’s important to have a laugh and decompress which we take time to do. This enables us to deliver the best level of service for our clients.
3. What do you think are the most important things about providing a good service for our clients?
An unwavering commitment to client-focused service is important. Many of our clients have an intellectual disability and need support in decision making and understanding their rights. They deserve that respect and support.
Linking up with their ecosystem/support network and building those healthy relationships is incredibly important.
Also important is a mutual understanding of each person’s role and how we impact our clients’ lives.
4. Can you give an example of a successful client relationship you’ve had/you have now?
When I first started at Baptist Care SA, I helped to support a new client with complex trauma and behaviours. While they needed 24/7 care, negative experiences with their previous service provider meant that they had lost trust in people.
By consistently demonstrating that I could be trusted (and in a way that they understood), they chose to share positive experiences with me over time. I also became someone that they could trust to support them through challenging feelings.
5. What specifically made this relationship work? What needs were met and what goals were achieved?
By showing up and supporting them unconditionally.
Feeling heard was very important to this client. We gave them space when they needed it, while also being there when they were ready to talk. We listened with intent, encouraged daily dialogue and gave them space to convey their perspective.
We made these moments safe by creating a routine of “making a milo and having a chat”. Organically, these moments led to self-reflection and the opportunity to communicate their needs.
We achieved some wonderful goals, many of them for the first time. These included attending busy events like the Royal Adelaide Show, theatre productions and big shopping centres without anxiety taking over. Also important was the ability to save up for things that they wanted and helping them budget for that. My personal favourite goal was having one of their friends over for a Christmas lunch, which they helped prepare. This was something they had always wanted to do but hadn’t been able to, so that was a great outcome.
6. How do you make sure that clients are satisfied with our services?
Moving house and meeting new people is a stressful experience for anyone, so our objective is to mitigate this pressure and stress.
We do this by meeting with them (and stakeholders) before the big move so that we are a familiar face and are comfortable with the process in advance. We speak to them about what our services look like and how we might be able to make the process a little easier. We are also there with them on the day of the move. All these things work towards making the process as seamless as possible.
We strive to ensure that information is helpful and clear. We are open to feedback and continuous improvement, finding ways to improve our services and processes.
7. If there are challenges for our clients, what sort of initiatives can we put in place to support them?
We liaise directly with the client and/or guardian to find out what their biggest challenges are. With their collaboration and input, we plan how we are going to address these challenges.
We also work closely with our internal and external stakeholders who are a wealth of knowledge and source solutions that are achievable.
8. We pride ourselves on working alongside our clients, at their pace – why do you think this is so important?
It gives the client time to process what is going on and gives them a sense of control and choice. It also empowers clients to make decisions about the services they receive, and what they want their supports to look like. It’s unfair on people to assume that everyone works at the same pace. Some people like things to be done very quickly and in turn adapt easily. Others require a little extra time to organise themselves or accept changes on the horizon.
9. What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am studying for a double degree of Bachelor of Psychological Science and Bachelor of Social Science so I will usually (or should) be studying! When I’m not doing that, you’ll find me at the beach, watching TV, or spending time with my family and friends.
If you have any questions about Baptist Care SA’s NDIS services, our Client Engagement Team is here to help.
Baptist Care SA, lives, works and walks on Kaurna, Permangk and Boandik lands. We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the state’s first peoples, recognise their traditional ownership, and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs, deep connection and continued guardianship of land and waters. We value the contributions of Elders past and present, and are committed to learning from those emerging.